While The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies are over, Hollywood is far from done with J.R.R. Tolkien. The author of the beloved fantasy epics will soon be the subject of a movie based on the events that inspired him to create that world.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, director James Strong is set to helm Middle Earth, a biopic inspired by Tolkien’s life during World War I, as he was forced to leave Oxford university and his wife, Edith Bratt, behind to join the British army. As noted in the report, “Tolkien embarked on four years of battle, hardship, and new friendships, which served to shape his imagination and start him on the path to Middle Earth.”
Strong is best known for directing several acclaimed British TV series, including Downton Abbey, Doctor Who, and Broadchurch, as well as Gracepoint for Fox. The script for Middle Earth is by Angus Fletcher, who based the story on six years of interviews and research into Tolkien’s life. Several of the details of Tolkien’s war experience aren’t widely known by the general public, but he faced severe health problems that may have saved him from death in battle. However, almost all of Tolkien’s friends were killed in the first Great War.
Protagonist Pictures is handling worldwide distribution for Middle Earth, and it will likely be shopped around to the major studios in 2017. There is actually a direct connection between this film and the Lord of the Rings movies by Peter Jackson. Former New Line Cinema executives Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne (who previously greenlit the LOTR trilogy) will serve as executive producers for Middle Earth.
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Image: New Line Cinema